Hello, old friend. The Pittsburgh Penguins have been hot despite an unorthodox schedule and some lackluster play. The Penguins have points in five of their last six games (4-1-1) and points in nine of their last 11 games (8-2-1). Going back further, They are 11-3-1 in their last 15 games dating back to Dec. 4. Tuesday night the Penguins face their former franchise goalie and fan favorite, Marc-Andre Fleury and the Vegas Golden Knights.
A milestone is also within reach. Penguins Head Coach Mike Sullivan can join memorable franchise names with a win against Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. Sullivan has 199 career wins as the Penguins bench boss and can become just the third coach in team history to reach the 200 win plateau.
Tristan Jarry will start against Vegas for the second time this year. He will seek some measure of vengeance for losing Oct. 19 after allowing just one goal on 21 shots. Fleury will make his fifth career start against his former team. Fleury is 3-1-0 with a 2.01 goals-against in four games against the Penguins.
The Penguins hit a wall after playing two games in less than 24 hours. After dispatching Montreal on the road, the Penguins could not take care of business at home against Florida in a 4-1 loss, Sunday. Florida found the first goal of the game early as the Penguins had a hard period. Frank Vatrano (9) skated toward the front of the net and followed up his own rebound with a goal to give his team the lead. Despite the weird schedule and early blow, the Penguins found equalizer minutes later. Jared McCann notched his 11th of the year after he finished off a slick pass from Dominik Simon. Florida added a goal at the midway point of the period to take a lead into the first intermission.
Neither team managed a goal in the second period, but the Penguins did force numerous chances in the middle frame. In the third period, the Penguins started the period with jump in hopes of tying early, but after the initial 12 minutes, the Penguins seemingly ran out of gas. Mike Hoffman, after assisting on the opening goal of the game, added a second point via a snipe at 8:52 of the final period. Hoffman received a pass from Frank Vatrano and wired a wrist shot top shelf to extend the lead to 3-1. Evgenii Dadonov (18) added an empty-net tally to cap off the scoring and send the PPG Paints Arena crowd to the exits.
Tristan Jarry, who didn’t travel to Montreal in preparation for Sunday’s game, played well despite being tagged with the loss. Jarry made 31 saves including several third period stops to keep the deficit at just one. Chris Driedger started his ninth game of the year for Florida and stopped 31 of 32 shots in the win. You can read more about the Penguins loss against Florida in Dan’s Recap and the PHN Extra Report Card.
Vegas rallied from a three-goal deficit to force OT against St Louis. In the extra frame after surrendering the tying goal late, Vegas found the game-winning goal after forcing a turnover to secure the 5-4 victory. Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron each had three-point efforts to chalk up at least one point in the standings for St Louis. Chandler Stephenson had two points including the game-winning goal for Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 27 of 31 shots in the win while Jake Allen made 28 saves in the loss.
Andrew Agozzino was recalled by the Penguins on Monday morning for the second time this season. Agozzino’s first and only NHL goal came against the Vegas Golden Knights in a Colorado 3-0 win on Feb. 18, 2019. He has played in just one Penguins game thus far this season.
The Penguins go back out west for the second time in less than a month for three games. The Penguins have fared well against Western Conference teams, winning 16 of their 22 games and gaining 34 points. Their 16 wins against the West are tied for third among all NHL teams and first among Eastern Conference teams.
Sidney Crosby (Core Muscle, skating)
Nick Bjugstad (Core Muscle, skating)
Brian Dumoulin (Ankle, IR)
Justin Schultz (Lower Body, IR)
Vegas Golden Knights
Cody Glass (Leg)
Cody Eakins (Concussion)
Jonathan Marchessault ( Lower Body, day-to-day)
|TEAM||Power Play||Penalty Kill|
|Pittsburgh Penguins||23.7%, 4th NHL||77.4%, 27th NHL|
|New York Islanders||18.8%, 21st NHL||83.7%, 6th NHL|
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Jason Zucker||Evgeni Malkin||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Jared McCann||Jeff Carter||Freddy Gaudreau|
|Zach Aston-Reese||Teddy Blueger||Brandon Tanev|
|Brian Dumoulin||Kris Letang|
|Mike Matheson||Cody Ceci|
|Marcus Pettersson||John Marino|
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